CHICAGO — An African American woman will soon be mayor of the City of Big Shoulders for the first time, no matter the outcome of the upcoming mayoral elections.
Whether Toni Preckwinkle or Lori Lightfoot wins, a very unscientific poll of voters suggests many are hoping they will unify the city.
"I think this is just a great, new beginning for Chicago," Clarence Welton said. "This gives the city an opportunity to unite, any way, no matter the nationality or color."
Naturally, crime is always a top concern among voters as well.
"There was just a shooting a few blocks from me the other weekend," Liz Ribordy said. "It's just crazy, and it just needs to have someone who can put their foot down and make real changes and not just talking about it."
For young parents and those with kids already in the classroom, schools need to make the grade as well.
"I don’t think they have good education in Chicago at all," Veronica Almodovar said.
Voters like Ari Widen say they're also looking for continued progress on a big issue for Rahm Emanuel: the environment.
"I hope that the new mayor continues that in terms of renewable energy and clean tech and focusing on that because climate change is real, it’s happening and we need to do something about it in a huge city like this," Widen said.
With so many issues, it’s hard for so many to focus on just a few, but they say the next mayor needs to be the spark to inspire the change within others.
"I’m hoping that the mayor kind of realizes that, engages with the people, the community and brings positivity to all the places in chicago," JR Gomez said.